Read story Longing for Art & Love written by
Jan Engoren a staff writer for http://yorktown.net
One of China's 10 best artists and a national art treasure by Hong Kong’s Ming Magazine (1997).
As a young girl growing up in Communist China, SeaHawk Wang-Radojcic she knew from an early age that she wanted to be an artist.
Born in Harbin, China, in the northeast province of Heilongjiang province, SeaHawk was 8 years old when Mao Zedong died. However, those days are etched in her mind and soul forever. SeaHawk’s life and art are profoundly influenced by vivid memories of those days of hardship and want. She recalls life as ‘sad and miserable’ and remembers military police coming to her street to arrest neighbors as so-called criminals.
Like her ornithological namesake, a long-winged brown and white osprey renowned for its vision and prowess, SeaHawk is an acute observer of life around her, whether in rural China or urban Harlem. Named by her father after the bird, that symbolizes abundance, courage and fearlessness,SeaHawk Wang-Radojcic is soaring high in her newly adopted city of New York.
Like the protagonists in Dia Sijie's film, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, who were sent to a re-education camp, and secretly and dangerously coveted forbidden Western literature during the Cultural Revolution, SeaHawkvoraciously sought out Western artist’s biographies and Western philosophers.
In 1991, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art at the Northeastern University of Art in Chang Chun City, China.
Says SeaHawk, “The best thing about being an artist is that you have the ability to create. It’s magic. To take a blank canvas and challenge yourself is exciting. I am never bored and am always fascinated with the endless possibilities I have to create.”
As part of their training, Chinese art students copy ancient Chinese master paintings to develop their technique.
SeaHawk also applied herself to Western techniques to develop a broader vision. The Western influence in SeaHawk’spaintings is apparent. SeaHawk’s self training during college included mastering the European Old Master’s techniques and becoming adept in incorporating these techniques into her own works.
Whereas traditional Chinese paintings and scrollworks are flat and 2-dimensional, SeaHawk has chosen as her medium, the more Western style of oil paintings, which are 3-dimensional and more sculptural-like in their appearance. In China during that period, art students trained in all styles and were heavily influenced by Russian instructors and Russian social realism.
A student of philosophy as well as a student of the arts, SeaHawk was influenced by the Chinese philosophers Lao Tzu and Laozi who wrote the Dao De Jing. In her work, SeaHawk attempts to answer the age-old questions: Whom Am I? Why Am I Here? Where I Am Going?
In 1997, before coming to the U.S., along with nine other artists, Seahawk was designated one of China's 10 best artists and a national art treasure by Hong Kong’s Ming Magazine.
The same year she had a solo exhibition, Hong Kong Returns, at the China's National Museum of Artand in 1999, she had another solo exhibition at the China's National Museum of Art in Beijing on the environmental themes of Man vs Nature". Her 58 oil paintings entitled, The Whirlpool of Greed, Nuclear Wind and Love and War depict a surrealistic, fantasy world of swirling colors, animals seeking solace from humans armed with weapons, and burned out cities decimated by man’s indifference.
During this period China experienced rapid technological growth and a ‘land-grab’ by the government displacing peasants and worker’s land and livelihoods. According to her figures, more than 66 million Chinese peasants lost their land and way of life in the past 10 years (1995-2005) due to government policies.
In 2005-2006, in her theme "Collision of Past & Present", SeaHawkpainted Nightly Tunnel, Last Stand and Collision of the Past and Present, depicting this sociological event.She juxtaposes the past and the present, the ancient and the modern, the traditional with the contemporary. Her work comments on social and political themes of environment, justice, big government, the duality of technology and modernization and humans living in harmony with their animal neighbors.
The farming scenes are painted in bold swaths of vibrant color, the robin’s egg blue of the sky contrasting with the sienna-brown of the farm fields. Peasants in traditional straw hats bend down from the waist planting their fields and crops. Encroaching on the pastoral landscapes and on our vision are allusions to the creeping urbanization – high rises cast a shadow over the workers and building cranes hang suspended over the fields.
She also created a genre she calls Quantum Art, which depicts Chairman Mao Zedong, with his capitalist props: Marlboro cigarettes, cell phone, MacDonald french fries and drinking a can of Pepsi sitting alongside General Lin Biao, laptops open, as a metaphors of the Chinese government's pretensions to become global political, military and economic world powers.
About this painting:
New roulette designed by Chines Rulers, where gamblers from all over the world are wagering landmark buildings. Entire Chinese villages are in great demand and being used for wagers. Ghostly ladies dancers are entertaining players and the public. This painting won 27th place on 01/21/2007, of over 3,500 international artists, as one of THE 50 MOST FREQUENTLY SELECTED WORKS ADDED TO FAVORITES at London SAATCHI Gallery Online. Title: High Rulers Size: 72"x51'
About this painting:
Having rejected a proposed boycott of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, the UNITED STATES might have given to Hitler a "green light"... and accepting 2008 Olympics in Beijing MAYBE it opened a "Blackhole" in our known World. This painting won 6th place on 01/21/2007, of over 3,500 international artists, as one of THE 50 MOST FREQUENTLY SELECTED WORKS ADDED TO FAVORITES at London SAATCHI Gallery Online. Title:Birth of Blackhole 52" x 73"
SeaHawk paints predominantly in a contemporary style. Her earlier works are surreal compared to her more recent realistic portrayals of people and city life.
She sees her differing styles as many branches of a tree as in in paths of life
A searcher, seeker and a spiritual person,SeaHawk is attuned to nature, energy, and her emotions as well as those of other people.
Says SeaHawk, “When I paint, I listen to my heart. I talk to myself and trust my intuition. I’m not afraid to follow my imagination; I feel nature guiding me as I work. Life is energy changing forms. Art and philosophy create positive energy. Good energy creates happiness. Life can be difficult and I want to create good energy and happiness with my work.”
"How can we all live together peacefully and find love? I believe that we as humans need to understand nature and energy as well as ourselves. Real love is energy going back and forth between two people, like a ping-pong ball."
It was that urge to look more deeply into herself and find true love that set her on her path to destiny. Says SeaHawk, "I studied enough and learned enough book knowledge. At some point I realized, life is not only about learning and work. I want true love. How can I depict love on canvas if it is something I have not experienced in my own life?" So, SeaHawk went on line in Beijing and found her true love in Mile Šeća, in New York City, also an artists.
So, in 2002, SeaHawk’s father, a forward-thinker, helped SeaHawk get onto the MSN personals.SeaHawk sent three e-mails: one to Hong Kong and two to New York City. One of the New York e-mails she sent was to Mile Šeća, then age 59, a native Serbian from Montenegro, who after living in 28 countries, including Sweden, Italy and China, finally settled down in New York City in 1981.
Her e-mail was short and succinct. It read: "My English no good. Can we be friends"?
According to Šeća, he says, “Something struck me immediately. She sent a photo and e-mail and was I instantly taken with her. I was not even looking for myself. I was on the personal site trying to find a wife for my brother in Sweden but he passed away and I, being single too, replaced his photo with my. We started to correspond and were sending 10-15 e-mails each day. In 2005, I decided to go to China to meet SeaHawk in person and we decided to get married.” Eight years later, after waiting almost three years in China for all their paperwork, Mile and SeaHawk arrived in New York City, where they currently reside.
SeaHawk agrees with Mile. She says, “Time stopped for us. In his photo, he was wearing a red shirt and standing in front of a rose bush. The minute I saw his picture I loved his smile. I was impressed with his life influences and he opened my mind and heart. I closed my MSN account after I met Mile. I felt a connection right away and felt his positive energy. All this love energy now goes into my paintings.”
SeaHawk has immersed herself in her new culture, creating prolific social, photo-realist cityscapes of New York. Her Beatiful City - Wonderful Life, a New York scenes capture cultural diversity, with contemporary people of all backgrounds: the High Noon Dogs Walker In Harlem, Subway Serenade For Lonely Heart and the ironically titled Best Play Off Broadway "Blind Fake Beggar.”
Her Manhattan cityscapes are imbued with an urban sensibility and an immediacy that make you feel as if you are a part of the scene.
She says, “I channel the energy from buildings, bridges, trees, parked cars, sport arenas, music from underground subways and people on the streets of New York onto my canvas.”
Does SeaHawk have any words of advice for up and coming artists? “Yes,” she says, “The first thing is they need to learn mother nature’s rules. They need to learn mother nature’s colors and natural order. When they understand nature, they will understand themselves and who they really are and the nature of their personality. Only when you connect to yourself can you create something new.”
In October, November and December 2010, SeaHawk will have a solo show of the "Collision of Past & Present" in Las Vegas at the Ortego Art Gallery, part of the Arts Factory in the Las Vegas Arts District. Says Deborah Ortego, owner of the gallery, “I was quite taken with the vivid colors of the fields and houses and the large crude brush strokes reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh.”
SeaHawk’s style is expressive and she is quite prolific. Everything she sees, she wants to record on canvas.
For what purpose is art, if not to engage, provoke, intrigue and communicate? Painting, it can be said, is the outward expression of all that lives and breathes in one’s subjects. From rural farm fields in the Chinese countryside, to urban city streets, SeaHawk is able to capture the dichotomies and contradictory nature of our complex modern lives where the constancy is both the enduring power of love, and the changing nature of life.
If a painting captures not only a moment in time, but also an era, SeaHawk has captured and documented modern life at it’s most intrinsic level.